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How The World Made The West

Release date: 29 February 2024
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We are told that the roots of Western Civilisation are in ancient Greece and Rome. A distinctive ... Read More

Product Description

We are told that the roots of Western Civilisation are in ancient Greece and Rome. A distinctive Western culture, the story goes, was built on the ideas and values of Greece and Rome, lost to Europe during the Dark Ages and then rediscovered by the Renaissance. Drawing on three decades of teaching and research, Josephine Quinn argues that this narrative impoverishes our view of the past, as well as our understanding of today's world. The backstory behind what is now called the West is much bigger, and even more interesting.

How the World Made the West shows that there has never been a single, pure, European or Western culture. What are called Western values - freedom, rationality, justice, democracy and tolerance - are not only or originally western, and the West itself is a product of long-standing links between a much larger group of cultures, from the Gobi Desert to the Atlantic Ocean, Scandinavia to the Sahara. Millennia of interaction with other people and places have now largely been forgotten, drowned out by ideas developed in the Victorian period that organised the world into distinct 'civilisations'.

In rich and ground-breaking detail, Quinn reveals a new narrative: one that traces the relationships that built what is now called the West from the Bronze Age to the Age of Exploration, as societies met, tangled and sometimes grew apart. She makes the case that it is contact and cultural appropriation, rather than civilisations, that drive historical change. It is not peoples that make history - people do.

Josephine Crawley Quinn


Product Details

Title: How The World Made The West
Author: Josephine Crawley Quinn
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
SKU: BK0486614
EAN: 9781526605191
Number Of Pages: 576
Language: English
Binding: Paperback
Release date: 29 February 2024

About Author

Josephine Quinn is Professor of Ancient History at Oxford University, and Martin Frederiksen Fellow and Tutor of Ancient History at Worcester College, Oxford. She has degrees from Oxford and Berkeley, has taught in America, Italy and the UK, and co-directs the Tunisian-British archaeological excavations at Utica. She is a regular contributor to the London Review of Books, as well as to radio and television programmes. She lives in Oxford.

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